Pensions (21 - 30 of 76 items)
Defined Benefit Pension Plans: Plans Face Valuation and Other Challenges When Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity
GAO-10-915T: Published: Jul 20, 2010. Publicly Released: Jul 20, 2010.
Millions of Americans rely on private or public defined benefit pension plans, which promise to pay retirement benefits that are generally based on an employee's salary and years of service. Plan sponsors are increasingly investing in "alternative" assets such as hedge funds and private equity. This has raised concerns, given that these two types of investments have qualified for exemptions from s...
Retirement Income: Challenges for Ensuring Income throughout Retirement
GAO-10-632R: Published: Apr 28, 2010. Publicly Released: May 4, 2010.
As the life expectancy of Americans continues to increase, the risk that retirees will outlive their assets is a growing challenge. Today, couples both aged 62 have a 47 percent chance that at least one of them will live to their 90th birthday. In addition to the risk of outliving ones' assets, the sharp declines in financial markets and home equity during the last few years and the continued incr...
Private Pensions: Additional Changes Could Improve Employee Benefit Plan Financial Reporting
GAO-10-54: Published: Nov 5, 2009. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 2009.
The Department of Labor (Labor) collects information on fees charged to 401(k) plans primarily through its Form 5500. Labor issued final regulations in November 2007, making changes to, among other things, Schedule C of the Form 5500. Labor put emphasis on reporting the indirect compensation paid to service providers and between service providers, in an effort to capture all of the costs that plan...
Private Pensions: Sponsors of 10 Underfunded Plans Paid Executives Approximately $350 Million in Compensation Shortly Before Termination
GAO-10-77: Published: Oct 21, 2009. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2009.
When sponsors terminate underfunded plans during bankruptcy, it can deplete resources of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which protects the pensions of almost 44 million American workers and retirees who participate in over 29,000 defined benefit pension plans. In 2009, PBGC reported an estimated deficit of over $30 billion. GAO was asked to determine what pay and other compensati...
401(k) Plans: Several Factors Can Diminish Retirement Savings, but Automatic Enrollment Shows Promise for Increasing Participation and Savings
GAO-10-153T: Published: Oct 28, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 2009.
Over the past 25 years, the number of defined benefit (DB) plans has declined while the number of defined contribution (DC) plans has increased. Today, DC plans are the dominant type of employer-sponsored retirement plans, with more than 49 million U.S. workers participating in them. 401(k) plans currently cover over 85 percent of active DC plan participants and are the fastest growing type of emp...
Retirement Savings: Automatic Enrollment Shows Promise for Some Workers, but Proposals to Broaden Retirement Savings for Other Workers Could Face Challenges
GAO-10-31: Published: Oct 23, 2009. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 2009.
Although employer-sponsored retirement plans can be an important component of income security after retirement, only about half of all workers participate in such plans. To foster greater participation among workers who have access to such plans, Congress included provisions that facilitate plan sponsors' adoption of automatic enrollment policies in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. To foster gr...
Private Pensions: Alternative Approaches Could Address Retirement Risks Faced by Workers but Pose Trade-offs
GAO-09-642: Published: Jul 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 2009.
Recent losses in the stock market and poor economic conditions underscore that many U.S. workers are at risk of not having an adequate income in retirement from pension plans. The dramatic decline in the stock market has diminished pension savings and reportedly led to low levels in older Americans' confidence in their ability to retire. Even before the current economic recession, research indicat...
Federal Law Enforcement Retirement: Information on Enhanced Retirement Benefits for Law Enforcement Personnel
GAO-09-727: Published: Jul 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
From fiscal years 2000 through 2008, the number of persons employed by federal agencies who perform various law enforcement functions and receive either special pay or enhanced retirement benefits, in the form of a faster-accruing pension, has increased by 55 percent. In addition, as of September 2008, approximately 51,000 personnel were employed in law enforcement-related occupations that could s...
Defined Benefit Pensions: Survey Results of the Nation's Largest Private Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors
GAO-09-291: Published: Mar 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2009.
The number of private defined benefit (DB) pension plans, an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, has declined substantially over the past two decades. For example, about 92,000 single-employer DB plans existed in 1990, compared to just under 29,000 single-employer plans today. Although this decline has been concentrated among smaller plans, there is a widespread concer...
Private Pensions: Conflicts of Interest Can Affect Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Plans
GAO-09-503T: Published: Mar 24, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2009.
Conflicts of interest typically exist when someone in a position of trust, such as a pension consultant, has competing professional or personal issues. Such competing interests can make it difficult for pension plan fiduciaries and others, in general, to fulfill their duties impartially and could cause them to breach their duty to act solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries....